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Motorways: Road Traffic Control

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultation her Department undertook on the ramp metering scheme model before its implementation on the highway network. (208086)

The Highways Agency (HA) developed a deliberately proactive stakeholder engagement strategy to support the wider implementation of ramp metering across its network. The purpose of the strategy was to explain the concepts and anticipated benefits of ramp metering, introduce the project structure and the sites selected for implementation, engender understanding, trust and support among stakeholders, provide a coherent and consistent picture of progress and minimise the risk of mis-information.

Due to the extent to which ramp metering affects the operation of the motorway, the HA recognised that there would be a wide range of interested parties, both at a national and local level, with whom it would be essential to liaise. These included the network ‘consumers’ (nationally and local to a scheme), regional and local government, police and other emergency services, driver and business representative groups, suppliers and staff.

The stakeholder engagement strategy and associated communications plan provided a detailed identification of the main stakeholders and their information needs, the roles and responsibilities for stakeholder engagement and the key messages and available channels of communication. Different types of communications included presentations, press notices, briefing notes, meetings, leaflets and a publicity video.

As an example, for the new sites on the M4 in the South East, liaison has taken place with the following stakeholders:

Slough Borough Council (including SBC communications team);

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (including RBWM communications team);

Royal Berkshire Ambulance Trust;

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services;

Metropolitan Police Service;

East Regional Control Centre; and

South East Regional Control Centre.